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New Year, New You: Exercises for Varicose Veins in 2020

Group practicing Yoga outdoors at sunset

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Letting your varicose veins negatively affect your life is something to put in the past. As 2020 rolls around, it is time to take control of your vein health and do what it takes to get rid of your pain and unsightly veins.

One of the great ways to help alleviate symptoms of your varicose veins is to exercise. You should consult your healthcare provider or a Vein Clinics of America vein specialist before starting a new exercise routine if concerned about your vein health.

After you know your circulation is healthy enough you can exercise, get moving! These exercises are a great way for you to improve your circulation and also strengthen your muscles.

Here are our favorite exercises to improve circulation and alleviate symptoms from varicose veins.

Calf Raises

These are great for strengthening your calves and are a very low-impact workout. Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand up with straight legs
  • Slowly rise up on your tiptoes and then lower down again
  • Repeat 20 times, rest and do another round

It’s as easy as that! You can use a wall or chair to support you, or really challenge yourself by not using anything to support yourself.

women's legs standing near water

Thigh Raises

This is something you can do while watching TV or hanging around the house. All you need is a chair. 

  • Sit down in the chair
  • Stand up
  • Repeat 10-15 times, rest and do another round

Bicycle Kicks

These are a great workout for your circulation, as well as your leg muscles and your abs. Killing three birds with one stone on this one!

  • Lay down on your back
  • Lift your legs up in the air, at a 90-degree angle
  • Pedal your legs like you are riding a bike
  • Do this for about 30 seconds, rest and do another round

Kneeling Leg Lifts

This is another workout you can do at home while you’re watching TV and requires no equipment. 

  • Get down on all fours
  • Lift one leg up and extend outward, making an ‘L’ shape
  • Hold for a few seconds
  • Lower and repeat
  • Do 10 times on each leg, rest and do another round

Ankle Rolls

If you’re stuck sitting for a large part of the day, don’t worry — you can still get some exercises in that will help your circulation. Here’s a great one to do at your desk.

  • Keep your heels on the ground but lift the rest of your feet
  • Roll your feet clockwise for 15 seconds
  • Roll your feet counterclockwise for 15 seconds
  • Rest and do another round

Foot Rock

Similar to the ankle roll, this foot rock is one you can do while sitting down and it takes almost no effort. 

  • Simply put your feet on the ground and rock from heel to toe

Toe Pull-Back

Sit in a chair to do this quick and easy exercise.

  • Keep the heel on the floor and pull your toes back towards your body
  • Do this 15 times, rest and do another round


Walking is one of the best ways to get the blood flowing in your veins. It is easy on your joints and is a great way to both stretch your calves and strengthen them. With just 30 minutes of your time, at least five days a week put on your tennis shoes and get walking.

Happy and healthy middle aged active and fit couple walking outdoors by the seaside


Getting in the water is a great low-impact way to get your blood moving and serves as a wonderful aerobic exercise. The fact that your legs remain above your heart the majority of the time you’re swimming means that you’re helping the blood flow back up to the heart. 


Stretching as you do in yoga promotes healthy blood flow and circulation, not to mention that it is great for your body and your mind. Take 20 minutes at least twice a week to get down on the mat and stretch it out.

Group of people doing lunges outdoor

Working out with varicose veins doesn’t have to be difficult or painful. With the approval of your doctor, doing the above exercises may help alleviate pain or discomfort caused by varicose veins. None of the exercises require much time or fancy equipment which makes it easy to do every day this year for a new you!

Want to learn more exercises for varicose veins?

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Satish Vayuvegula
Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is the National Medical Director at Vein Clinics of America. Certified by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is recognized as a physician who has met rigorous standards of knowledge and extensive training in phlebology, the diagnosis and treatment of varicose vein disease and related disorders. Dr. Satish also shares his passion and expertise by serving as a board member of the American Vein and Lymphatic Society, the predominant national organization for venous and lymphatic disease.

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